National Model 1260 Tube Amplifier (1949)

National  Model 1260 Tube Amplifier (1949)
$2,750.00 + shipping
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Item # 9690
Prices subject to change without notice.
National Model 1260 Model Tube Amplifier (1949), made in Chicago, brown textured fabric covering finish.

This very attractive high-end, just post-war amplifier was built by Valco and sold under the National brand. It was one of the top professional models in their 1949 catalog, at a time when National was still considered a prestige brand. Listing originally for $165, the Model 1260 was more expensive than anything Gibson, Rickenbacker or Vega offered and in the same price range as the high-end Epiphone amps. While not the most powerful amp of its time, it was just shy of National's slightly more powerful 1215 "Professional" model, featuring more 6L6 tubes.

Exactly what did the ambitious musician of 1949 get for the princely sum of $165, besides great looks on the bandstand? The Model 1260 features a double-ended 6L6 design, putting out around 20 watts into an AlNiCo Jensen 12 inch speaker, a change from the old and true field-coil design. This appears to be one of the first Valco-made models to have made the transition to permanent magnet speakers. It has two channels, one for instruments and one with higher gain intended for microphones and as a single master tone control. The microphone channel especially can provide some really nice saturated overdrive and the instrument channel offers beautiful warm clean tones one would expect from a 1940s tube amplifier.
Height is 20 1/2 in. (52.1 cm.), 17 5/8 in. (44.8 cm.) width, and 9 1/4 in. (23.5 cm.) deep.

This Model 1260 example is in very nice condition overall. Externally it is quite clean; there is a bit of moderate wear around the corners and edges. The metal grille covering is only slightly dented in some spots and the control plate is very clean with minimal scratches and all the lettering is intact. The amp retains the original and very stylish plastic handle and the metal National shield logo on the front upper-left corner.

Electrically all the major components are original including the 12" Jensen P12P AlNiCo speaker, which has been reconed professionally and sounds great. The amp has had our standard routine maintenance, it been fitted with a grounded 3-prong power cord, the sockets, pots and jacks have been cleaned and all electrolytic capacitors replaced. It has been biased to spec. The sound is warm and wooly, with a very pleasant and articulate midrange, which is less common with the Gibson contemporaries of the era. This is a fine and superbly preserved example of this excellent post-war 1940s amplifier, just about the finest that Valco offered and really one of the best of its era. Excellent Condition.